Leftovers from Halloween? Check out these ideas before you throw any food out!

Did you know that Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy a year for Halloween? Unfortunately, a significant amount of this goes uneaten and wasted. Nothing is spookier than food waste! This year, before you throw out any extra food, think about how you can add it to any of your favorite recipes. Here are some of the recipes that we found to give life to your Halloween leftovers.

If you have leftover (uncarved) pumpkins:

Make Pumpkin Puree!

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center (Save the seeds; they can be used to make roasted pumpkin seeds!).
  2. Place pumpkin halves on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They will be light golden brown when done.
  3. Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces.
  4. Mash the pumpkin until smooth, using either a food processor, a blender, or just a potato masher. You can add a splash of water if needed.
  5. You can use this pumpkin puree immediately to make your favorite pumpkin recipe or store in the freezer for later use.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

  1. Rinse the pumpkin seeds and strings under cool water and the seeds will separate easily. The leftover strings can be discarded or composted.
  2. Boil the seeds in salted water. This is to get the salt to season the insides of the seeds.
  3. Bake them at 400°F. Watch them carefully — they are done when they begin to lightly brown. Small pumpkin seeds may toast in around 5 minutes or so, while large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes
    • For a savory snack, try tossing the pumpkin seeds with a few teaspoons of chili powder, curry powder, or herbes de provence.
    • For a sweet-and-salty twist, try a dusting of pumpkin spice blend (of course!) or cinnamon and sugar.

Source: Simply Recipies

Make Thanksgiving Centerpieces!

  1. Gather moss, vines, or leaves to attach to the top of the pumpkin. You can use glue, tape, or string to adhere them to the top.
  2. Cut off small pieces from a succulent plant. You can do this a few days ahead of time to allow them time to scab over. Place the succulent pieces around the sprigs of greenery, in a circle pattern.
  3. You can also add dried grasses, black walnuts, small seed pods, and anything else you have around or find outside.
  4. To maintain, just mist it every week. The pumpkin should hold up for five to six weeks. It is best to place a plate underneath the arrangement.
  5. When your pumpkin begins to go downhill, gently pull out the plants and toss the pumpkin on your compost pile.

Source: Buffalo-Niagara Gardening

Compost Your Pumpkin!

If you throw the pumpkin in your garbage can, it will likely make its way to a landfill or to the incinerator to be burned with the rest of the trash. This year, have a little more fun and nourish your soil by composting your pumpkin!

  1. Compost either a carved or an uncarved pumpkin. For uncarved pumpkins, remove the insides for cooking, or for carved pumpkins, remove any candles or wax.
  2. Find an out of the way spot in your yard for your pumpkin’s final resting spot. A sunny spot will speed the composting process.
  3. Place your carved pumpkin in the spot and smash it a bit (Have fun!)
  4. Cover the pumpkin with a layer of leaves.
  5. And, let nature do its work. Worms will turn your pumpkin into nourishing compost.

Source: Dwell Smart

If you have leftover Halloween candy:

Make Candy Bar Brownies!


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • About 8 ounces of chocolate candy (chopped)


  1. Mix cake mix with melted butter or margarine and condensed milk. Spread out 1/2 of the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice candy bars into little slices. Lay these on top of the baked crust. With the remaining batter-crumble it on top of the candy bars. It will have a crumbly texture. No need to spread it on top to make it smooth.
  4. Put it back into the oven and bake it for another 20 minutes.

Source: All Recipes

Make Candy Bar Apple Pudding!


  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 large apples, chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 4 Snickers candy bars (1.86 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand until soft-set, about 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Fold in apples and candy bars. Refrigerate until serving.

Extra Tips

  • Using crisp, tart apples like Granny Smiths helps to balance the sweetness.
  • For a pretty presentation and a bit of extra crunch, sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top.

Source: Taste of Home

Make Halloween Candy Bark!


  • 1 package White Almond Bark or white or chocolate chips
  • 16 whole Graham Crackers
  • Pretzel Sticks, Broken In Half
  • Oreo’s, Chopped
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Chopped Pistachios
  • Mini Chocolate Chips


  1. Melt the almond bark or chocolate over a double boiler or using a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Arrange whole graham crackers together on a  baking sheet so that they’re butted up against one another. Pour the melted chocolate over the top and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the surface.
  3. Sprinkle on pistachios, chocolate chips, pretzels, and Reese’s Pieces (along with anything else you’d like to add.) Lightly press all the ingredients in to make sure they’re all anchored on.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

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Bagel beer talk – Food Recovery Network and Seventh Son Brewing

Join KNOW Food Waste for an interactive “virtual happy hour” and learn how Food Recovery Network OSU and Seventh Son Brewing Co. turned 1000 lbs of otherwise wasted bagels from Ohio State cafes into a new brew called “Close the Loop”.
The discussion will take place on July 1 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm.
We hope to see you all there!
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Fundraiser for the World Food Programme and #backofthecabinetchallenge

The world’s most vulnerable people are in desperate need of food and protection from COVID-19. WFP has been on the front lines fighting hunger, providing lifesaving meals to nearly 90 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in more than 80 countries each year. $75 can provide a family with a WFP emergency box — which contains enough food for an entire month.

KNOW Food Waste (KFW) is a student organization at Ohio State working towards reducing, repurposing and educating about food waste on campus. We have started a fundraiser to help the World Food Programme. For every $25 raised, KNOW Food Waste will post a “Zero Waste Tip” on our Instagram account to help promote sustainability.

Check these out for additional information:

Also check out this fun challenge (and fundraiser) we have started on Facebook! It is called the #BackoftheCabinetChallenge

You can choose to donate to our Facebook fundraiser or here :


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Podcast Episode on “How to Minimize Food Waste”

Katie Williamson and Aishwarya Badiger, two of the founding members of our student organization Know Food Waste, recently spoke about food waste and how to minimize it on a podcast episode with For Good Measure. Listen along to learn some shocking statistics about food waste, their environmental implications and some tips to minimize waste in your own households!

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2019 Fall and Winter break food drives

KNOW Food waste came up with the idea of organizing food drives right before break times to give people an outlet to donate any excess food they might have. We urged people to clean out their refrigerators and pantries before they left for Fall/Winter break and donate the excess to our food drive. We were pleasantly surprised to receive 20 lbs and 118 lbs from our Fall break and Winter break food drives respectively! All this food was donated to NSI (Neighborhood Services Inc.) food pantry.


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